About Us

1st 4 driving logo

With a long and illustrious history in the driver training education industry, 1st 4 Driving is a firmly established name in the driving school landscape, currently offering driving lessons across a multitude of areas in the South of England and Wales.

Since being established by Dave Foster MA, Dip.DI over two decades ago, we’ve helped literally thousands of pupils pass their driving test and start getting the independence they deserve on the roads.

Our speciality is in delivering great driving lessons using coaching techniques approved by the DVSA and honed with 20 years of experience and research.

Check out our mission statement here.

Where are we based?

Since 2015, our main office has been based in Callington in Cornwall.

Offering lessons locally in Cornwall and Devon, but also expanding further afield into Hampshire with the acquisition of Road Runner Driving School, we offer lessons across a wide range of areas. See if your area is on our list here.

We have both manual and automatic cars for you to learn in, with Southampton and Reading currently being covered by automatic.

Our office

Image of The Old Clink Callington

Then: The Old Clink

1st 4 Driving took on The Old Clink as its office, which is an historical listed building.

The building was built in 1851 at a cost of £60 and included two lockups on the ground floor where petty criminals and drunks would be detained. The upper floor, which now serves as an office for booking in driving lessons, was used as a vestry room where officers presided over the payment of poor relief to the disadvantaged members of the parish.

By 1866, the building was no longer being used as a lock-up, and was replaced by a police station in Tavistock. Having fallen out of use and in danger of collapse, the building fell into disrepair and was eventually awarded a grant for complete renovation in 2006, partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund Objective One, as well as the South West Regional Development Agency.


Additional driving instructors required to cope with a very heavy workload. Training can be provided, area permitting. Enquire via the usual channels for more details.

A mysterious rumour…

image of The Old Clink Callington now

Now: 1st 4 Driving Headquarters in the snow


In 2009, rumours surfaced of secret and mysterious tunnels that led to the building after a pothole that was being filled in near the site appeared to be bigger than first thought.

The rumour was that the tunnels were built for magistrates as a quick getaway after sentencing, or to transport prisoners to the jail to avoid lynch mobs.

Sheila Lightbody, a local historian said “The legend of the tunnel has never been proved”, and that the holes were more likely to have led to cellars used by local businesses.

So perhaps that puts that myth to bed. Or maybe there really are tunnels underneath our office and we just haven’t found them yet…

We’re the best qualified driving school around

There’s nobody better qualified to help you learn to drive than us. Over two decades, we’ve built our driving school around the best attitude, methods and standards in the industry, perfected using degree-level research and a whole host of qualifications. Let us explain:

Driving School Dave

Dave Foster MA, Dip.DI

Dave Foster MA, Dip.DI, F.Inst.D.E.R, M.Inst.MTD, MAIRSO (but you might know him as Driving School Dave) is the founder and Managing Director of 1st 4 Driving Ltd.

Dave qualified as a driving instructor in 2000 and has since gained an impressive array of further qualifications in driving, education and driver training education.

Dave’s driving and driver teaching qualification range spans from taxi training to fleet training and everything in between. There isn’t a driving related question that Dave doesn’t know the answer to. That makes him a very helpful person to have around in the office!

As well as Dave’s expertise in driving, he also specialises in education, and holds a Master’s Degree from Middlesex University in Driver Training Education. His background in both driving and education means that Dave is perhaps the most qualified driving school owner in the country.

Dave began helping and training others in setting up their driving schools, as well as rescuing driving instructors in training who kept failing their exams. In the years since, 1st 4 Driving has evolved from looking after other schools with training, web design and call-answering, to becoming a driving school in its own right.

So, why is this important?

Dave’s experience and research in the field trickles down through our driving instructor training and into our lesson plans every single week, meaning you’re getting the very best quality tuition from your driving instructor when you learn with 1st 4 Driving.

Before you leave, check out our mission statement to see exactly what we stand for and why you should book with us.

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